7 Things Every Turmeric Curcumin Supplement Should be Tested For

June 01, 2017 by

Here’s the wrong way to choose a curcumin product...
• User reviews
• Sales websites
• Personal recommendations
• Fancy label design
• Automatically going with a company whose other product you are using

Yet this is what most of us do. Because we don't have the specialist scientific and technical knowledge to be able to assess products correctly.

But here's the risk: if you miss a number of specific (but simple) checks on your curcumin, you could end up with a supplement that...

    01. Harms your health
    02. Doesn’t deliver the health benefits you're hoping for

To avoid these risks, you can use this simple checklist from our PhD scientists
who just spent the last 5 months researching absolutely everything there is to know about curcumin.

They've created a list of the 7 most important tests you need to check for - so anyone can easily and quickly evaluate the quality of any curcumin supplement, including one you might already be taking.

Let’s look at each of the 7 items in turn...

TEST #01

Mycotoxins are toxins formed by fungi. They develop in curcumin when manufacturers don't properly control conditions during growing, harvesting, transportation or storage.

Some have been linked to rapid weight gain, poor fertility, imbalances in sex hormones, birth defects, cancer, plus a host of cardiovascular and nervous system diseases [

A simple search of PubMed, the US National Library of Medicine, shows 24,333 clinical papers related to the effects of Mycotoxins, many focus on the dangers.
In a recent contaminant evaluation study of 70 US & European supplements, an astonishing 66 of the products tested were positive for at least one mycotoxin [4] — more than 94% of those tested!
So as you can see, it's very important the brand owner / manufacturer has used a specialist independent lab capable of testing your curcumin product for Mycotoxins.

If they have, the results should be easy to get. You can just e-mail the manufacturer or look for the test results on their website (unfortunately due to the extra time and money it requires, and the risk of getting a bad result, many don't).

For your reference, this is what mycotoxin test results should look like. These are from mycotoxin tests on the most recent batch of our own product, Native Curcumin...

TEST #02

Pesticdes in a supplement like curcumin? Yes, it's possible — and it happens a lot.

Here’s an extract from a 2005 botanical science journal:

...In samples collected in 2004, pesticides were found in 44 out of 87 samples of botanical dietary supplements [5]...

i.e. more than half of those samples tested contained pesticides!

Any reputable curcumin manufacturers will have their product tested for pesticides... and will show you the results in a certificate of analysis either on their website or via e-mail, if you request it.

The results you’re looking for should be something like this (again taken from Native Curcumin) - Note how each item it has a “less than” symbol (<), showing that it’s below the minimum limit, that’s what you need to look for....

TEST #03

Glyphosate is also a pesticide — in fact, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Round-up™. And thanks to that controversy, it has to be tested separately, and will only be done by a handful of specialized labs around the world.

In 2015, a division of the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen” [6] — i.e. it’s likely to cause cancer. There's still debate on that, but whatever the outcome, there's enough evidence to suggest you don't want unsafe levels of it in your curcumin product.

You should look for results along these lines these (from Native Curcumin). Note that the glyphosate is “<” (less than), the minimum quantification limit — scientific speak for “so low we can’t measure it”...

TEST #04

Solvents are chemicals which help extract and process curcumin out of the natural turmeric.

Most of the time, they’re harmless. But some can leave toxic traces in your curcumin … so it’s vital to know which ones your manufacturer has used.

There’s a lot of science behind this, but here’s what you really need to know:

Solvents are ranked by USP (United States Pharmacopeia) from most toxic (Class 1) to non-harmful (Class 3).

And according to a branch of the World Health Organization, there are only five solvents which are allowable to use in curcumin manufacturing [7]:

Isopropanol  (Class 3)
Ethyl Acetate  (Class 3)
Acetone  (Class 3)
Methanol  (Class 2)
Ethanol  (Class 3)

So, here’s how to check your supplement:

First, contact your manufacturer and get hold of their test reports for solvents (FDA guidelines for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) don’t enforce this testing, so you might not always get them).

Check there are no solvents that aren’t on the approved list above (you'll know if one of them does not have a 'less than' (<) sign next to the result figure - this means it's above the limits set).

And watch out for a Class 1 residual solvent known as EDC (1, 2-dichloromethane) — this has been associated with the possible contamination of some curcumin products in the past.

Here is an example of what these results should look like, taken from our results for Native Curcumin:

Native Curcumin is a little different to most in that it uses a patented physical (non-chemical) process to make most of the product.

(NOTE: Would you like to see what difference to your health a patented turmeric curcumin supplement, with 10x the absorption of standard 95% curcumin AND tested by 5 different laboratories (for mycotoxins, pesticides, solvents etc.) can make? Click here to learn more about Native Curcumin and the free product offer.

TEST #05

Curcumin Absorption

If you read anything about curcumin you’ll probably hear about its poor absorption into your body (or to use the technical term, its poor ‘bioavailability’).

Here’s the 30-second explanation:

In nature, curcumin only makes up about 3-5% of the turmeric root (where we get curcumin from).

But most of the clinical studies that show curcumin’s health promoting qualities (e.g. for joints, cognitive, cardiovascular, digestive and immune health) use a much bigger dose than you can get from turmeric root in it's natural form.

That’s why manufacturers often extract curcumin out of the turmeric, and provide it in a more concentrated form inside a capsule (often as much as 95% curcumin).
The problem is, when you pull it out of its natural support structure in the turmeric root, the curcumin gets harder to absorb in the body.

Manufacturers use different technologies or try adding things to overcome this problem, e.g. liposomes, micelles, nanoparticles, carrier essential oils and black pepper extract.

But there's an easy way to compare any of these, with one single test. Here it is:

You need to see the results of a clinical study on the exact ingredient you have in your curcumin product, showing the amount of ‘Total Curcumin’ in blood plasma, for several hours after people have consumed it.

Here’s an example of what to look for (these are the clinical study results for the patented ingredient Acumin in Native Curcumin):

This gives you an idea of how much variation there is between products — as you can see, Acumin from Native Curcumin is 10x better absorbed than standard 95% curcumin!


​​​​​We’d recommend avoiding products with additives such as piperine (black pepper extract) to boost absorption. Piperine does boost absorption, but not only of curcumin; it can also increase absorption of prescription medications, which may create a problem for some consumers and contribute to drug interactions. Therefore, if you take curcumin product that contains piperine, and if you take prescription medications at the same time, please either find a different curcumin product or consult your doctor to see if it's safe to combine them.

TEST #06

Curcumin Strength

Absorption is only part of the story. After all, what does it matter how well you can absorb something if there isn’t much there in the first place?

Independent testing companies like ConsumerLab regularly test curcumin products that are on shelves to see if the capsules contain the dosage on the label.

Shockingly, many of them fail — they don’t contain what they claim to! The problem is obvious: if you’re not getting as much curcumin as the label says, not only are you being ripped off, but you’re also not going to get the health result you’re expecting.

So how do you know if your supplement has as much curcumin as it claims?

It’s easy. All you need to see is independent test results (often called 3rd party test results) for the batch of product you are actually taking. These will show you whether the capsules contain as much curcumin as the manufacturer says.

Any reputable manufacturer who stands by their product will have had these tests done, and the results will be published on their website or available on request. We do, of course; and for reference on what to look for, here are ours:

TEST #07

Heavy Metals & Microbiology

The last thing you should be looking out for in your curcumin supplement are a couple of highly toxic materials which can contaminate curcumin: heavy metals and microbiological contaminants.

Heavy metals are metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury which are very poisonous and can accumulate in your body. (You may have heard of the danger of heavy metal poisoning when eating too much fish; it’s the same thing.)

These metals are naturally-occurring components of the earth the important thing is that you are only ever exposed to TRACE levels, and nothing more.

Microbiology means tests that look for bacteria, yeast, mold, and microorganisms that may cause health hazards.

To check your curcumin supplement, ask your manufacturer for heavy metal test results for the specific batch you are purchasing (manufacturers should be testing every batch, without exception).

This is roughly the format, from Native Curcumin, that you should see those results in:

Bottom Line

If you want to make sure the curcumin supplement you are taking is high quality and delivering you the right amount of important health promoting compounds, send your brand / manufacturer an email asking for test results for the seven items above.

When you find a company who can provide all this data, you will know you are dealing with a manufacturer committed to the highest quality and superior level of transparency with their products.

To give you an idea of what’s required… to get our tests done on Native Curcumin, we have to use 5 different testing labs across Canada and the USA, pay thousands of dollars each time, and repeat the process for every single batch of Native Curcumin (so we don’t let a bad one through).

This article is designed to give you the tools you need to test any curcumin product and see if it’s right for you.

However, after 5 months of work by our scientists, formulators, manufacturing and technical teams, we believe our product Native Curcumin is the absolute best available — and we invite you to use all these tests and check for yourself.

If you’d like to learn a little more about Native Curcumin, and what makes it the most effective curcumin supplement you can buy, click here for more information — and some special Amazon-only discounts. >>>

1. Bennett JW, Klich M. Mycotoxins. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2003;16(3):497-516. doi:10.1128/CMR.16.3.497-516.2003.
2. Petzinger and Ziegler (2000), Ochratoxin A from a toxicological perspective. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 23: 91–98. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2885.2000.00244.x
3. Doi K, Uetsuka K. Mechanisms of Mycotoxin-Induced Neurotoxicity through Oxidative Stress-Associated Pathways. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2011;12(8):5213-5237. doi:10.3390/ijms12085213.
4. Mycotoxins in Plant-Based Dietary Supplements: Hidden Health Risk for Consumers. Zdenka Veprikova, Milena Zachariasova, Zbynek Dzuman, Alena Zachariasova, Marie Fenclova, Petra Slavikova, Marta Vaclavikova, Katerina Mastovska, Daniel Hengst, and Jana Hajslova. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2015 63 (29), 6633-6643. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02105

5. http://www.actahort.org/books/720/720_11.htm
6. https://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/pdf/MonographVolume112.pdf
7. http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/agns/pdf/jecfa/cta/61/Curcumin.pdf
Contact Info:

Naturenetics Inc.

5940 S. Rainbow Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89118
Phone: 877-569-8569
Email: offers@naturenetics.com